Vol. LXV, No. 33
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
WILL TO SUCCEED: Will Mooney takes a throw in action last year for the Princeton Post 218 American Legion team. This summer, Mooney, a former Hun School star and rising sophomore player for Bucknell University, helped the Monmouth Monarchs win the championship of the Atlantic Baseball Confederation Collegiate League (ABCCL). Mooney batted .364 with two homers, six doubles, and 12 RBIs in 30 games, building confidence as he looks to play a bigger role for the Bucknell program after hitting 4-for-12 as a freshman.
Will Mooney only got a limited chance to show his hitting prowess this spring in his freshman season with Bucknell University baseball team.
The Princeton resident and former Hun School star had just 12 at-bats but showed flashes of brilliance as he pounded out four hits, including two doubles, to end with a .333 average.
I was frustrated that I didnt get more at-bats, said 60, 195-pound infielder Mooney, reflecting on his freshman campaign with the Bison. I think I showed the coach that I can hit at this level.
This summer, Mooney got the opportunity to give a full sampling of his batting ability as he starred for the Monmouth Monarchs of the Atlantic Baseball Confederation Collegiate League (ABCCL).
Mooney batted .364 with two homers, six doubles, and 12 RBIs in 30 games, helping the Monarchs to the league title.
It was good quality pitching, not quite Patriot League but a mix of D-1 and D-3 guys, said Mooney, who was named to the leagues Yogi Berra all-star squad.
From the beginning of the season, I was hitting well. It was really fun to win the title. We had such a great group of guys.
Getting to play on a regular basis helped Mooney fine-tune his hitting. I would say I got better at off speed pitches, getting my weight back and waiting on the pitch, said Mooney, who put in frequent batting cage sessions this summer when not playing for the Monarchs. I hit two homers and I started hitting the fences at the end of the season.
It took Mooney some time to start hitting his stride upon his arrival at Bucknell last fall.
The biggest thing was getting used to the sheer amount of time that you practice and getting used to the studies at the same time, said Mooney, who helped the Hun baseball squad win the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) championship as a senior in 2010 and also starred the last few summers for the Princeton Post 218 American Legion team.
We practiced every day in the fall and we did weightlifting. It was hard at first, getting used to that kind of pitching. In high school, you only saw one or two pitchers like that in a whole season.
Mooney first got the field for the Bison in their season opener on February 18 at James Madison.
Getting in the box wearing a real uniform in a real game was nerve-wracking, recalled Mooney, who grounded out to shortstop in his first appearance.
The nerves wore off a bit for Mooney a day later as he came through with a run-scoring belt.
My first hit was a double against James Madison to right field, said Mooney of the RBI hit.
As Mooney looks ahead to his sophomore season, he is aiming to play a bigger role in the Bucknell hitting attack.
There is a senior at third base ahead of me, said Mooney. My goal is to be more a part of the hitting, playing some first base or maybe doing a little designated hitting.
Mooneys hot hitting this summer for the Monarchs should help advance his cause.
At the beginning of the school year, we each have an individual meeting with the coach [Gene Depew] to talk about what we see as our role on the team, noted Mooney. I think I am going to print out the stats from this summer and hand that to him.
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